Wilde gardening

Date
Published in
Better homes and gardens (UK)

Take a look around the English garden of 80s pop icon, Kim Wilde.

Pop stars and garden gurus might sound like different species, but British 80s rock chick Kim Wilde has successfully crossed the two. Exchanging the icrophone for a trowel, Kim has developed a highly successful career as a landscape designer and TV celebrity gardener, appearing in shows such as the BBC's Garden Invaders. She's even written a children's gardening book, which is appropriate, as it was her desire to create a garden for her kids that stimulated her passion for plants in the first place.

Like so many other keen gardeners, Kim discovered an untapped passion for plants and gardening when she moved into her house, a 400-year-old converted barn situated about an hour outside London. She started off growing a few fresh vegetables for the family and things just developed from there. Today, the spacious country garden features a whole variety of landscaped spaces, which flow seamlessly into the natural wildflower meadows beyond.

As a landscape designer, Kim frequently puts her skills to the test, competing in the UK's top garden shows with great success. But without doubt, her proudest achievement was winning a prestigious gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2005. And her music hasn't disappeared either - Kim regularly performs in the UK and Europe. But when she returns to home base, the garden is the first place she heads, to reconnect with her own little patch of nature.

1. Blowsy hedges of fragrant English lavender skirt the walls of the house. Originally a barn, the 400-year-old building has been converted into a spacious family home.

2. A charming willow trellis plays host to a golden hop vine (Humulus lupulus 'Aureus'), set above an aged bench. The garden draws on the rustic and the rural to create its mood.

3. Climbing roses are perfectly at home in this English country garden. 'Danse du Feu' is a vigorous grower, which repeat-blooms from summer to early autumn.

4. Meadow magic is created with a glorious slate urn. Topped by a red succulent rosette, it sits among wild grasses.

5 .This enchanting walled courtyard, entered through an archway, features a host of lovely shade lovers such as buxus, ferns and Hydrangea quercifolia.

6, 7. Vantage points sprinkled through the garden provide places to sit and enjoy the view.